By Johna Till Johnson


Subway scene February 2017

I love subways. I’m not sure why.

It’s not just how functional they are, how efficiently they take you in minutes to places that would otherwise require hours of travel through traffic-choked streets.

It’s partly—even mostly— because of the way they instantly, magically adjust your experience.  You go down a staircase and in a moment find yourself safely (or swelteringly) out of the elements.

Perhaps there’s music, anything from a violin to a jazz band, interrupted by the blare of announcements and the scream of trains.  Regardless of whether it was day or night outside, cloudy or clear, the light has changed to a steady, unflattering overhead glow.

Shadows seem deeper, edges sharper. Platforms roll off to the side, hiding themselves behind square pillars. And there are people all around, almost all intent on ignoring you.

It’s an alternate reality, a step out of space and time. And when you emerge at the far end, you’re never quite the same person who first entered…

19 responses to “Subways

  1. Love the framing/film strip effect….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not as big a fan as you, Johna, but I do enjoy the photography opportunities they provide. And the people watching.
    Perhaps I need to use the subway in New York more than I usually do on my forthcoming trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great composition, Johna. Subway gallery.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful photo, Johna! Definitely a window on the underground world.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s beautiful written, Johna. I enjoyed every moment your shared with us on the journey <3

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I feel kinda the same way, especially this strange overtaking and staining aura that you describe at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The photography is wonderful, Johna!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Johna Till Johnson

      Thanks, Lois! Working on it. But I’m proud of myself for recognizing the shot and seizing the moment last night. I almost didn’t have to crop it. Obviously my subconscious is learning a new way of thinking…

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The picture is very artistic. Enjoyed reading the post, as it took me back to the local train journeys in the city from where I come – Mumbai.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Johna! this is very much how I feel in our underground light rail here in Seattle. There is something almost magical about the feeling of rushing away from a station underground, through a human-made tunnel, and five minutes later you are in downtown, a trip that would have taken 15-20 minutes in no traffic, much long if traffic. I like your phrase, “It’s partly—even mostly— because of the way they instantly, magically adjust your experience. ” Very nice”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wonderful photo! Living in Alaska has not provided me many opportunities for subway experience, but your “alternate reality” description is excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

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